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Click to change imageThe Asia Pacific Solidarity Network (APSN) is a network of activists who are building solidarity with and support for movements for social justice, genuine democracy and self-determination around the Asia Pacific region.

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APSN – The activist resource site on Indonesia, East Timor and West Papua. Over 20 years of archived reports and articles. APSN also has an wide range of essential resources, archived news and press releases, links and background reports on the Asia-Pacific region. Site map

News reports translated from Indonesian language news sources.

300 billion to become a gubernatorial candidate, that's a 'value pack' – Prabowo
Detik News – January 13, 2018
Gerindra General Chairperson Prabowo Subianto claims that he feels saddened by the current state of the democratic system. This is because figures with prestige and good character are unable to become leaders if they do not have money.

As political year starts, jaded electoral candidate fires salvo at Prabowo
Detik News – January 12, 2018
His failure to be endorsed as a candidate in the 2018 East Timor gubernatorial election has not left La Nyalla Mattalitti powerless.

Fugitive FPI leader Habib Rizieq calls for 'copy-paste' of divisive Jakarta election
Detik News – January 11, 2018
Islamic Community Forum (FUI) Secretary general Muhammad Al-Khaththath has expressed his disappointment with several political parties contesting the 2018 regional elections (Pilkada).

Protesters oppose Yogyakarta airport construction, call for end to forced evictions
Detik News – January 16, 2018
Protesters opposing the New Yogyakarta International Airport (NYIA) at Kulon Progo held a demonstration this afternoon at the Yogyakarta Regional House of Representatives (DPRD DIY).

Anti-mine protesters demand release of activist charged with 'spreading communist ideas'
Tempo – January 9, 2018
Scores of residents in the Pesanggaran sub-district of Banyuwangi, East Java, held a protest action demanding the release of their colleague, Heri Budiawan, who is being tried for spreading communist ideas.

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-Latest News
After accusation of same-sex marriage support, political parties rush to criminalize LGBT
Coconuts Jakarta – January 22, 2018
In December, Indonesia's Constitutional Court rejected a petition to amend the country's criminal code (KUHP) in a way that would have made homosexual acts, and indeed all sex outside of marriage, illegal.

Indonesian government asks Google to block gay dating apps
Gay Star News – January 22, 2018
Indonesia's Ministry of Communications and Information wants technological giant Google to ask it to block access to about 70 LGBTI apps.

FPI attacks child's birthday party looking for prostitutes, local residents fight back
Coconuts Jakarta – January 22, 2018
The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the most notorious of Indonesia's Islamist civil society groups has violently attacked or threatened groups ranging from teenagers that have criticized them online to religious pluralists and elderly survivors of the country's brutal anti-Communist purge.

100 in Indonesia's Papua feared dead from malnutrition, measles
Agence France Presse – January 21, 2018
A measles outbreak is feared to have killed about 100 malnourished people in Indonesia's Papua, an official said Sunday, highlighting a health crisis in the country's easternmost province.

Bride-to-be publicly whipped for getting 'too close' to boyfriend just days before wedding
The Mirror (UK) – January 20, 2018
A woman and her partner were publicly whipped for getting "too close" to each other just days before their wedding. The shocking public punishment took place in Aceh, Indonesia.

Pine trees in front of Aceh mosque cut down because they 'resembled Christmas trees'
Coconuts Jakarta – January 19, 2018
Caretakers of a mosque in the city of Meulaboh, Aceh cut down 10 pine trees that were planted just outside the house of worship's front fence. Their religiously motivated reason for doing that has caused quite a backlash even in the conservative province.

-Drunken Republic
Click to view imagesDrunken Republic

The lighter (or darker) side of Indonesian politics.

-Red Flag
Red Flag is the fortnightly newspaper of the Australian socialist organisation Socialist Alternative. More >>

-Statements & Press Releases
Indonesia: Failure to confront intolerance
Human Rights Watch Statement – January 18, 2018
Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's government is failing to confront increasing intolerance that has led to discrimination and violence against the country's most vulnerable minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018.

Stop the sweeping and attacks against civilians in Nduga, Papua
Tapol Press Release – December 20, 2017
The Coalition for Justice, Law and Human Rights in the Central Highlands of Papua, Civil Liberty Defenders and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence request that the Indonesian security forces, militrary and police do not act indiscriminately in the Mugi district of the Nduga regency, Papua.

Indonesia: Human rights merely acknowledged, not yet protected
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – December 11, 2017
On the occasion of international human rights day, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) observes the major human rights issues of concern in Indonesia. Impunity and a fragile criminal justice system have let down victims of human rights abuse and those seeking justice.

International Human Rights Day – West Papua
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) Media Release – December 8, 2017
As International Human Rights Day approaches (10 December), The Indonesian Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu called for West Papuan delegates who attended the ULMWP Summit in Port Vila to be arrested on their return to West Papua.

42nd anniversary of Indonesian full scale invasion of East Timor
Australia East Timor Friendship Association South Australia Inc Media Statement – December 7, 2017
The following statement was released by the Information Officer of the Australia East Timor Friendship Association, Andy Alcock, to observe the 42nd anniversary of the full scale invasion of the Democratic Republic of East Timor by the Indonesian military (TNI) on 7 December 1975.

Indonesia: Development of Kulon Progo Airport continues despite lack of Environmental Permit and rampant violence
Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal – December 6, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about two important situations. First, there was a brutal attack against local community members and student activists in the area of the New Yogyakarta international Airport (NYIA).

Statements, press releases, solidarity and urgent appeals are archived under their country specific page/section, which can be selected from the drop-down menu on the left.

News, in-depth reports and analysis focusing on political developments in the Asia Pacific region.

Indonesia: Absent Ahok, anti-Chinese sentiment on artists' minds at Indonesia shows that test the bounds of tolerance
South China Morning Post – November 17, 2017
There isn't a single image of jailed former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to be seen, but the man commonly referred to by his Hakka Chinese nickname Ahok looms large at one of the biggest events on the Indonesian art calendar.

Indonesia: Why is the Industrial Relations Court failing workers?
Indonesia at Melbourne – November 15, 2017
Every International Labour Day, workers across Indonesia conduct major protests against outsourcing, low wages, and workforce liberalisation policies. This is perhaps to be expected but more surprising are the calls in recent years for the Industrial Relations Court to be closed down.

Indonesia: Behind Indonesia's illiberal turn
New Mandala – October 20, 2017
The past year or so has seen conspicuous setbacks to Indonesian democracy's capacity to protect many social rights, including of some of the more vulnerable members of society – most notably women, religious and sexual minorities, and victims of the 1965-66 mass killings.

Indonesia: A new ideological contestation emerging in Indonesia?
ISEAS Perspectives – October 19, 2017
A long period of ideological vacuum in mainstream politics came to an end in the lead-up to the 2014 presidential elections and was further confirmed in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial elections.

Indonesia: 52 years after fascist genocide, Indonesians scared of 'communist ghosts'
Dissident Voice – October 9, 2017
It was once again a hot, muggy day in Jakarta. The air was full of pollutants, epic traffic jams blocking entire center of the city. Biasa, as locals would say, or in a lax translation, 'business as usual'.

More >>

Max Lane’s Blog – Commentary and analysis on the history, contemporary politics and culture of Indonesian and its relationships with Australia and the world.

-Earlier this week
Indonesian Christian whipped for selling sharia-banned booze
Agence France Presse – January 19, 2018
An Indonesian Christian was publicly flogged on Friday for selling alcohol in conservative Aceh province, a violation of Islamic law, as a crowd of onlookers including children jeered.

Widodo puts more starch in his ranks
Asia Times – January 19, 2018
What was billed as a Cabinet reshuffle turned out to be little more than a riffle, but in replacing his chief of staff with a retired military commander Indonesian President Joko Widodo is clearly inserting some starch into the ranks ahead of legislative and presidential elections in 2019.

The rough face of Indonesian tourism development
Asia Times – January 19, 2018
Tourism is a priority of Indonesian President Joko Widodo. He has built a lot of infrastructure for it. He has created a friendly policy toward investors. He has also conducted a friendly policy toward foreign tourists – but he has often forgotten his own people.

The rapid rise of censorship in Southeast Asia
The Diplomat – January 19, 2018
The number of blocked sites, as documented by independent internet monitors, is on the rise in nearly every Southeast Asian nation, part of a wider downturn in freedom of information across the region.

Widodo reshuffles cabinet with eye on 2019 presidential contest
Nikkei Asian Review – January 17, 2018
Indonesian President Joko Widodo reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday, his third such change since taking office in October 2014, roping in senior members of his coalition and the military, in a move seen as an attempt to consolidate his support ahead of the presidential election in 2019.

La Nyalla denies he was asked for political dowry by Prabowo
Tempo – January 17, 2018
The former chairman of the East Java Chamber of Commerce and Industry La Nyalla Mattalitti denies saying that the Gerindra Party Chairman Prabowo Subianto had extorted him. He blames the media for inventing the phrase.

The biggest hoax of all: the 30 September Movement
Indonesia at Melbourne – January 16, 2018
Many Indonesians are worried about the damage that hoaxes and disinformation are causing to social cohesion in the country.

Indonesia saw fewer religious freedom violations in 2017: Report
Jakarta Globe – January 16, 2018
Violations of religious freedom declined in Indonesia last year, indicating that the country's efforts to promote tolerance are starting to pay off, the Setara Institute said on Monday (15/01).

Teenager gets 1.5 years for insulting president and police chief on Facebook
Coconuts Jakarta – January 16, 2018
Concerns that the Indonesian government will keep using the country's draconian Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) to silence critics seem unlikely to be addressed this year as there have already been two questionable convictions under the law in just the first few weeks of 2018.

Indonesia's foreign debt stands at $347.3b, 34% of GDP
Jakarta Post – January 16, 2018
Indonesia's foreign debt stood at US$347.3 billion in November last year, growing by 9.1 percent year-on-year (yoy), according to Bank Indonesia's (BI) report.

Police arrest 5 men for holding 'gay sex party' in private villa using pornography law
Coconuts Jakarta – January 15, 2018
While LGBT and human rights defenders in Indonesia celebrate a small victory in December, when the Constitutional Court rejected a petition that would've made homosexual acts illegal, recent arrests show that Indonesian authorities do not need a clear legal basis to justify criminalizing homosexuality.

Unsatisfied Islamic hardliners plan further action against Facebook following anti-climactic protest
Coconuts Jakarta – January 15, 2018
Last Friday's protest by Islamic hardliner groups under the coalition name "Alliance Against Facebook's Wickedness" came to a rather awkward and anti-climactic conclusion as the social media giant's Jakarta HQ was closed for the day, meaning the protesters' demands fell on deaf ears.

High rice prices bring no benefits, farmers association says
Jakarta Post – January 15, 2018
Several farmers have said they have not gained from the current high rice prices, claiming an increase in prices was caused by speculation by traders who have stockpiled the commodity.

Palm oil association urges gov't to revive Suharto-era transmigration program
Jakarta Globe – January 14, 2018
The Indonesian Palm Oil Association, or Gapki, urged the government to revive its now defunct transmigration program, first implemented under former President Suharto, to empower rural farmers and enrich palm oil producing regions.

East Timor's minority government could fall within days
Sydney Morning Herald – January 14, 2018
Only four months after taking office East Timor's minority government is set to fall, possibly within days, amid tense political manoeuvrings in Australia's nearest north-western neighbour.

Indonesia's 'anti-communism' law used against environmental activist
Human Rights Watch Dispatches – January 12, 2018
Indonesian prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for an environmental activist for allegedly raising pro-communist banners while peacefully protesting pollution linked to a local gold mine.

Attempt to criminalize extra-marital sex in Indonesia fails
The Diplomat – January 12, 2018
Human rights activists in Indonesia have gained a brief respite after the Constitutional Court on December 14 narrowly rejected a petition to alter the criminal code to make extra-marital and homosexual sex illegal.

News archives

  • News reports on Aceh, Indonesia and West Papua are archived in the Indonesia News Digests.
  • News reports on East Timor are archived in the East Timor News Digests.
  • Other news reports are archived under their country specific page/section.
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